Sunday, August 1, 2010

This Past Week

A week ago today my mother, (age 86), was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Her heart rate was low, blood pressure low, and she was nauseated and had pain in her lower abdomen. My sister happened to be visiting and called me. A tropical storm was in the Gulf and it had been storming off and on all day. I prayed as I got into the car to go to my parents’ house, for Mother, for Daddy, (age 88), for safe travel of the ambulance on the slick roads, for calmness and self-control for me, and as I glanced to my left before turning right onto the highway, I saw a beautiful double rainbow. I only had an instant to glance at it, but I took great comfort from God’s sign of His love and faithfulness. It was the 2nd double rainbow I had seen in about 2 weeks. Sometimes God makes His Presence in my life so obvious I cannot miss it!

My sister and dad were just coming outside as I drove into the driveway; and since my car has a smoother ride, my sister insisted Daddy ride with me to the hospital. I had run up the sidewalk to help him (he was recovering from weakness from too much Lipitor—another story) and as I turned around, there was that glorious double rainbow shining in front of us from end to end. I showed Daddy and said, “See, God is with us.” I had no idea what the future held, but I knew God was letting us know He was there.

We stayed in ER with Mother until it was decided they needed to keep her for observation since the CT scan was negative. Her low heart rate and blood pressure concerned them. A couple of hours later my oldest son joined us and then rode with my sister to Burger King to get us something to eat. Since it often takes hours to get a room in our area hospitals, at 10:30 pm, my sister took my Daddy home and I stayed with Mother. At midnight they moved her to ICU and I had to say goodbye. For the next four days my sister and I took turns taking Daddy to the hospital in a wheelchair and sometimes with a walker 4 times a day (ICU visiting hours) and taking care of his meals.

It turned out Mother had too much potassium in her system, and they gave her medicine to correct the problem, along with a diruetic. Two days later she had too little potassium, and her heart rate skyrocketed. By the 3rd day in ICU, Mother was discouraged, was not sleeping, and was beginning to think she would not get out of ICU. Daddy was getting weaker every day but wanted to be with her at every visitation.

Thursday morning the nurse said Mother's right lung sounded raspy--fluid build-up. This happened before and I prayed hard that she would not have to go through what she went through two years ago when they had to keep draining her lung. I had put her on our church’s email prayer list that goes out to hundreds of prayer warriors and I kept them updated. Then Friday afternoon while getting ready to go visit her, the phone rang. It was Mother! She said the cardiologist said she was fine and could go home. I was in shock! Apparently, the fluid in her lung had disappeared and her heart rate had stabilized. Praise God!

Daddy had told me earlier that he was just too tired to go with me for the 1 pm visit--so instead of calling him to let him know Mother could come home, I let him sleep. He was sure surprised when she, my husband, and I walked in the house together.

I have had such a grateful heart these past two days. I have leaned more on God this past week than I have in quite awhile. His Presence, His power, His safety, and His guidance, His assurance, His grace, His love…. There were times when I prayed desperately to be baptized in His Spirit so that my mind would focus on Him and the present and not run headlong into negative scenarios, like my mother not recovering, and so my mind would not be influenced by the anxious atmosphere in the hospital. I fought with my spirit and Scripture to live moment by moment in the present every day. I discovered this is very much my problem in a crisis—the reason anxiety can get a hold of me if I let it. Keeping my mind in the present with the Lord is my mind’s salvation. And when I'm alone, praying to Him and reading the Bible and meditating on Scripture that speaks to my heart keeps me secure.

I praise you, Jesus, and I give you the glory. You are with me in my most anxious moments helping me stay my mind on You. You are my Rufuge and my strength!

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